More politically conservative with age?

When I was in my teens, I often heard older people say: You’ll get more conservative with age.

That hasn’t happened. If anything, I am less conservative now than I was then.

Why? Although there may be several reasons, there is one simple answer.

If you think politics is all about your own interests, then you may get more conservative with age and job, house, and so on. You want to protect what you have been able to scrape together for yourself from the commons.

If you instead think politics is for the welfare of society as a whole, for all life, and for future generations, you are not likely to get more conservative.

For me, politics is not about my own personal short-term self-interest. It has to do with what’s best for the larger whole, as it looks to me now. And that is, in a much deeper sense, my real self-interest.

I assume this also has to do with the basic difference between a zero-sum view or a win-win view. My impression is that a zero-sum view tends to go with a more politically conservative orientation, and a win-win view with a more progressive orientation.

All of this depends on the type of conservatism/progressivism, and there are many exceptions to the general pattern I wrote about here. There are conservatives who have the welfare of society as a whole, Earth, and future generations in mind, and there are progressives who come from a more excluding place.

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